Recently, a favorite artist of mine, JJ Heller, released a new album. And along with it, journals highlighting lyrics from said album. Without having listened to any of these new tunes yet, I chose based on what these words spoke to me. And this is the cover I opted to receive:
"Fully known by the Author of space and time."
It was a few days later, after receiving the package in the mail (half the fun of on-line shopping, am I right?!) and putting that CD on repeat in my kitchen (yes, I still listen to CD's as my primary form of musical consumption - which is why most of what plays in my kitchen is 90's/00's Christian pop/worship/hip hop - you know, whatever I managed to find under the "Christian" tab in the Wal-Mart CD aisle), and hearing that song multiple times that I finally realized why the words meant so much to me.
I have always had a fascination with filling out surveys. Questionnaires, worksheets, forms.
I like paperwork. I know, that makes me a freak, but if you give me a blank line to fill out, I get a little giddy. And if you're asking for information about me? Well, watch out.
I mean this. Really. You know those hour-long meaningless email forwards that used to make the rounds (back in the days before Facebook almost obliterated email)? "What's your favorite color?" "What time is it now?" "Ice Cream or Popcorn?" "If you owned a purple elephant in Madagascar, what would you name him and what color would his tusks be?"
Yeah, those ones.
I did every. single. one.
Because I loved it. As an introvert with an extrovert side she tries to hide because she thinks others just aren't interested, the opportunity to reveal parts of myself that I find fun, quirky and interesting, while not overtly boring others (hey, it's their choice to read through the answers) is a win.
Notice: I have my own blog.
I haven't changed.
I still like the idea of telling others about me while not forcing myself. If I'm speaking to you, you feel compelled to listen, and worse, yet, I might be able to tell if you wished I would just shut my mouth or are put off by what I've said or who I am (because I've seen the look a time or two). If my written word bores you, you can look away and I wouldn't even know. Which is good, because you may have already done so.
And underneath all of this, this eagerness to share myself quietly, and with many (many) words, to others, is a desire to be known. To reveal who I am, what I've done and things I enjoy, in the hopes that others will accept me and think I'm someone worth knowing.
Yet, here is this God.
The One, True God.
Creator of all the universe.
The Author of space and time.
The One Who formed me in my mother's womb.
And He knows me.
I am fully known. I didn't need to fill out a survey or tap into my witty side (that I like to pretend is there). I don't need to forward the answers to 20 people or send Him a link to the words I've spent the last hour typing.
He knows me.
And still loves me.
Because it's not just the cute, quirky stuff. The odd talents and fun facts, fascinating experiences or interesting tastes. He knows the ugly. The stuff I paint over and try to hide with my bubbly banter. He knows the depths.
And He still loves me.
And if I have this, this love from the One who formed me, Who has seen my ugly. Who has not just seen the ugly, but has picked me up, brushed off the dirt, washed it in the blood of His own Son, and declared me beautiful - if I have this love. From the one who knows me fully and chooses me anyway - why am I still seeking the approval of anyone else?
Whose opinion on this wide, roaming world, filled with sinners - liars, cheats, gossips, back-stabbers - sinners, like me, could possibly matter anymore than the one who has already declared me worth knowing?
Thus, I choose to live loved, in full recognition that I already have the love and acceptance - all I could ever ask for - from the One who knows me inside and out - deeper than any being on this earth.
It's this love that has freed me, to be the real me, uhidden and unpainted. Just me. Loved and accepted.
By the Author of space and time.